Wall Street Journal Columnist Discusses Interesting Wines
Lettie Teague, the wine columnist for the Wall Street Journal wrote an article this past Saturday titled, “The Unique Charms of “Miscellaneous Wines” that appeared in her column, “ On Wine”. The article discusses the unknown wines that restaurant wine directors add to their wine lists, hoping to entice diners to select these wines instead of the more tried-and true picks. The article shares how frequently, these lesser-known wines are listed under headings such as “Miscellaneous Wines“ or “Interesting Wines” instead of by region or grape variety.
If I see a wine list with these atypical headings, you can place a bet that I will be selecting one or two of them to enjoy with my meal. Sommeliers want you to try these wines because they usually have fallen in love with them. I have found that wines listed on such a page are unique, delicious and make great food pairing partners. They also provide a welcome break from the old standby favorites and allow you to expand your palette. In addition, as Teague points out, the price points on these wines will be low, minimizing the risk of going out on a limb and purchasing one.
I wanted to share a few wines I have discovered that are obscure and could easily grace the pages of one of these “Interesting Wine” categories. If you see any of these on a wine list, go ahead and give them a try. It could be the start of a new love affair.
Italy – Verdicchio from the Marche region. It’s a frequent blending partner with Trebbiano, Malvasia, Grechetto and Garganegaor , found in the Umbria DOC regions of Colli Martani, Colli Trasimeno and Colli Perugini .
Germany – Müller-Thurman, a neutral grape typically reserved for blending but done properly can be a nice easy-drinking white.
Greece – Assyrtiko from the volcanic island of Santorini, has great acidity, and is a good component for beautiful food pairings.
Hungary – Because this country was hidden from the world due to communism, its long, wine tradition was not known to much of the world. However, that is changing and their famed Tokaji wine is one of the primary reasons. The Furmint grape is used to produce Tokaji, an esteemed, expensive dessert wine but Furmint is also produced as a drinkable dry wine.
Spain – Macebeo , referred to as Viura in the Rioja region, is typically used in the production of Cava, the Spanish equivalent to champagne. This grape is also used to produce white Rioja . Another grape making its way to American wine lists is Verdejo. This is a very aromatic wine from the Duero Valley region of Rueda, it has good balance, nice acidity and can stand up to oak aging.
Drop us a line and let us know if you enjoy any of these miscellaneously, interesting, mysterious wines. Better yet, let us know if you have tried something mind blowing not mentioned in either article.